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Point Park launches campus-wide safety communications initiative University at the forefront of local and national push toward multi-purpose, comprehensive emergency communications

April 18, 2013

Point Park University has launched a campus-wide safety communications initiative aimed at tying together its classrooms, labs, studios, residence halls, student center and offices under one safety and emergency management umbrella.

Under the three-phase, multi-year initiative, an advanced emergency notification and communications system from Oakmont-based Metis Secure Solutions will be installed throughout campus. It will help campus security and emergency personnel protect Point Park’s campus community in the event of an emergency—from individual health crises and disruptions such as water main breaks, to hazardous spills and leaks, criminal threats and severe weather.

In the face of a wide variety of threats, security and emergency management for large facilities, campuses, and buildings are increasingly realizing the need for emergency notification and communications systems that provide more options than building fire alarms and are much faster and more effective than email/text alert services. In the past four years, the Metis Secure system has also been deployed in large-scale installations at Carnegie Mellon and Slippery Rock University, as well as at educational, commercial, and manufacturing sites in other states.

The Point Park system will feature indoor and outdoor Metis Secure Emergency Help Stations, powered by map-based software that security personnel use to push emergency alerts and instructions to the stations, and answer emergency help calls that come from the stations. It is connected by redundant power and communications networks designed to operate even when traditional power, phone, and internet networks fail.

With students, faculty, staff, and visitors dispersed throughout 10+ buildings and additional properties, Point Park has one of the largest footprints in Downtown Pittsburgh. Its Metis Secure system enables security and emergency personnel to broadcast alerts and actionable emergency instructions to single, affected floors or buildings, or to all of its buildings and outdoor areas simultaneously, in seconds.

“Targeting emergency notification is extremely important,” said Jeff Besong, Point Park’s Chief of Police. “Some problems do not relate to us, but they occur in our midst. For example, let’s say there is an incident on the sidewalk outside one of our buildings involving 3 or 4 city police. We can notify our people inside the buildings to shelter in place because a non‐university incident is occurring. That’s why it is imperative to have the ability to target locations and customize our messages.”

“The Metis Secure outdoor stations give us a high degree of visibility,” Besong said. “This provides our students, staff, and visitors a clear and direct line to campus police. Better yet, when someone presses the Help button, we know their exact location and can respond immediately.”

Point Park’s initial project phase, which saw the installation of the Metis Secure Emergency Help system in the University’s Urban Park, was completed in 2012.

“Demand for advanced emergency notification and communications systems such as Metis Secure’s has spiked over the past several years, and is projected to grow significantly over the next decade,” said Mark Kurtzrock, Metis Secure president and CEO. “These days, security, emergency, and facilities people have to prepare for threats that can’t be addressed by pulling a fire alarm and evacuating a building. They want tools they can use to almost instantly reach any part of their facilities or campuses with actionable emergency instructions specific to the crisis at hand—whether it’s a violent threat or a tornado warning. And, they want to give the people at their sites a way to almost instantly report trouble and get help if needed.”

About Metis Secure Solutions

Metis Secure Solutions delivers breakthrough in-building and outdoor emergency communications systems. Security and emergency management at commercial office buildings, industrial and research facilities, and universities depend on Metis Secure multi-purpose systems for both outbound emergency notification and inbound emergency communications—filling critical security gaps, optimizing emergency response speed and effectiveness, reducing liability, and leveraging pre-existing security investments. The Metis Secure system recently won the 2012 Electronic Security Expo Maximum Impact Award. For more information, contact Metis Secure at 412-828-3700 or info@metissecure.com.